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LEXICON

 

 

Daw Gyam Phaya Su (ဒေါ်ဂျမ်းဘုရားစု)

Burmese. ‘Lady Gyam Pagoda Group’. Name of a brick monastery in Inwa, that is usually translated as Lady Gyam Pagoda Complex, with Gyam being the name of the female benefactor who had it built and Daw being a title given to mature women or women in a senior position and which is usually translated into English as Aunt or Miss. The official Burmese-English sign at the temple entrance uses an alternative transliteration, spelling the name as Gyan, which ‒though not following the literal transliteration‒ is close to the actual pronunciation and is recorded by many as the going name. The temple complex is said to date from the Ava Period, but besides the name of its benefactor there remains no historical record. The walled temple has a large bell-shaped pagoda surrounded by some smaller edifices, as well as two large zedi with receding terraces in the northeastern corner of the complex, the outermost being somewhat smaller than its neighbour, which has mythological guardians at the corners, i.e. sphinx-like man-lions called Manuthiha (fig.) and mythological lions known as chintha (fig.), with the latter standing at the corners of the base.